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“It was an honour to sing this bhajan” – Anwesshaa on lending her voice to Shri Ram Chandra Kripalu – Shri Ram Stuti

Shemaroo recently launched Shri Ram Bhakti Utsav, a musical series dedicated to Lord Rama. Shri Ram Bhakti Utsav celebrates the occasion of Pran Pratishtha of Shri Ram’s idol at Ayodhya which took place a couple of days ago. As a part of this musical series, Shemaroo Bhakti has released ‘Shri Ram Chandra Kripalu – Shri Ram Stuti’, a traditional bhajan written by Tulsidas, presented in a new avatar by music composer and producer Deepak Pandit and singer Anwesshaa.

‘Shri Ram Chandra Kripalu – Shri Ram Stuti’ has been released on Shemaroo Bhakti’s YouTube channel and the audio track is available on all streaming platforms. While Anwesshaa has sung songs of different genres in multiple languages, lending her voice to this bhajan has been a special experience for her. 

How was the experience of lending your voice to ‘Shri Ram Chandra Kripalu – Shri Ram Stuti’?

It was an honour to sing this bhajan. This is a traditional bhajan sung by many singers in the past. One of its popular renditions has been by Lata Mangeshkar ji. I felt very humbled when Deepak Pandit ji asked me to render it in my voice. Deepak ji has re-arranged this bhajan and presented it in a new avatar. He has retained the essence of the bhajan but the chord progressions are very different from the kind one has heard in the earlier versions of this bhajan. Tulsidas ji has written this bhajan and his name appears in one of the lines, “iti vadati Tulsidas, Shankar sesh muni mana ranjam”.  

Shemaroo Bhakti has released this bhajan as a part of Shri Ram Bhakti Utsav. This musical series has been designed to mark the occasion of the Ram temple being inaugurated in Ayodhya.

Yes, we wanted to celebrate this occasion by releasing this track. It is a result of the initiative undertaken by the Central government and one must salute them for this effort. Every devotee of Lord Ram wanted a temple dedicated to him where they could go and offer their salutations. People in our country had been waiting for the temple to be built and now, finally it is front of their eyes. I am looking forward to visit Ram Mandir soon. I am an artist and I am happy that music led me towards getting associated with this initiative.

Personally, I don’t support extremism and imposition of ideas. But, symbolism is important for the growing and living generations to get reminded how rich our culture is whenever we tend to be less proud of it in an attempt to ape western trends.

Apart from being a renowned violinist, Deepak Pandit has been a much revered composer and music producer. How was the experience of collaborating with him on this bhajan?

I have known Deepak Pandit ji since the last several years. In the last few years, I met him while participating in the music reality show ‘Amul Voice of India Chhote Ustaad’. Anand Sharma sir was one of the teachers assigned by the production house to groom us. Deepak ji had seen some of my performances on the show. He contacted me through Anand sir. At that point, he tried my voice on different songs. Over the years, I worked with him on a couple of projects. One of the projects I worked with him was a Tata Sky campaign where Javed (Akhtar) saab had written one song. With ‘Shri Ram Chandra Kripalu – Shri Ram Stuti’, I got to collaborate with him on a bhajan for the very first time. When he approached me for this bhajan, I was very happy and there was no second thought about being a part of a project like this. Lata ji’s rendition was iconic and everybody had hard it. So, there was some challenge and pressure here. One can never match Lata ji but I tried to sing this bhajan to the best of my capabilities. It has been made for a noble purpose and that’s what makes it all the more special.

Shemaroo Bhakti has been releasing devotional songs regularly for a while.

They are responsible for putting together this initiative. As a part of Shemaroo Bhakti Utsav, they will be releasing many songs. It was wonderful collaborating with them on this project. They were kind enough to feature me in the video as well. I have not sung a lot of bhajans but I really want to. Now, am exploring this space quite regularly. I recently recorded some devotional songs for Times Music. I have also recorded a few devotional songs in Bangla. One of the devotional songsI have recently sung is dedicated to Kali Mata.

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